Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Document of Discussion (8)

All Men May Be Cremated Equal.  Copyrighted, Isadora Gruye Photography.





“You heading down the street?" The stranger asks, "heard there’s a church at the end of the block.”  She stops pushing her grocery cart which carries cigarette cartons and several pairs of expensive high heels.

“Nah,”  I shake my head.

She sits down on the curb next me. “I was thinking about it.”

I shrug.

She shrugs too.  We are already best friends, our posture slumps together,our bellies rumble in unison.  She sighs and says, “They got canned ham, and they got a minister set up in a big tent. Everybody is guaranteed a meal and a baptism before..... well before, you know.”

I nod.  Yes, I know.  Months ago it was the bombs, then the nuclear winter.  Now the cannibalism, the food scarcity, and the radiation burns on my wrists growing black and beautiful.  She has similar sores on her forehead.

“Know what I am going to miss?” she asks, lighting a cigarette, taking a long drag, then handing it to me.  “Smoking.  I fucking love to smoke.”

I tell her, “I’m going to miss the Wizard of Oz.”

She laughs, the sound resembles the last song I heard on the radio before the blasts.  And for a moment, I want to sing along to that tune I didn’t like, if only to keep her laughing.



Poem Spoilerzzzz:   I wrote this for my own challenge at Real Toads.  I called upon the toads to compose a poem about doomsday which has a happy ending.  Those who know me know my sense of happy is a little skewed, but to me this is happy:  two drifters having a laugh.  

18 comments:

  1. I have that same skewed sense of happy, and I really like this!

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  2. You had me at the caption to your photograph!

    What a moment! 2 strangers pass and bond over cigarettes and laughter inside the frame of complete dissolution of everything human. It is absolutely Wonderful, even the missing disliked song.

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  3. This is fantastic! The title for your photo "All men may be cremated equal" That is a whole poem in itself.

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  4. There is a lot about the human race that could benefit by a good cremating, but not the kind of spirit you reveal between the speaker and the incidental survivor. That's the stuff that keeps us soldiering on, despite all caution.

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  5. Enjoyed the humorous take. Sometimes in the face of dire times (even Armageddon) we just gotta laugh....as there is nothing much else one can do!

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  6. I love this, Izy. From the photo caption to the contents of the cart, to the Wizard of Oz and the laughter, it is full of subtlety and humor.
    K

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  7. I SO LOVE THIS! My sense of humor is "a little skewed" too, so this was pure delight. AWESOME writing, kiddo! I'd read the whole book, if you wrote it. Would make a great short story....??????

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  8. Thanks for the kind comments all: for those of you who enjoyed the caption I selected for the photo, it's actually a lyric from a song called "Old Man Atom." Two years ago my best friend sent me a spectacular compilation of songs from the 50-60's about the cold war and inevitable detination of nuclear weapons. Fascinating stuff, and surprisingly cheerful.

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  9. Hey, when all else fails, light up and start singing. Smoke em if you got em, (though I wouldn't be picking tobacco)because, you know, you're gonna be smoke yourself pretty soon--or in this case, possibly food. I love a cheerful cannibalism tale. And I loved the sense of leveling camaraderie that truly lives in the worst most dire situations, and is one of our few virtues as a species(the other is the passion to create art/beauty, as I said at Susan's.) Loved the prompt too, Izy.

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  10. The PHOTO Rocks! Just perfect as is the title! A lot can be said for companionship (and a last drag on a cigarette. Thanks for this challenge... it wore me out :)

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  11. OMG ~ this is pure awesomeness!!!

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  12. You've created an entire mini world within this short piece Izy...truly full bodied and feel like an excerpt from something large!!! Really well written...I enjoyed this a lot!!

    Great prompt, too!!! :)

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  13. There's a great and vivid sweetness here. Very well done, so succinctly. (Not easy.) k.

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  14. I'm back, to say I'm happy you liked my response to your prompt. Which was the COOLEST prompt!!!!! If you write the story you have given us a peek at, above, I would so love to read it.

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  15. Shoes. Of course! Even The Bomb can't ruin a lady's love of shoes!

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  16. I loved it, it has your hand all over it and I don't think its warped so much as it is real, things that can happen, do happen and then get made into movies. You have a fine movie mind...I can see most of your stuff on the screen. Hell yeah.

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  17. Hedge, i started humming 'smoke em if you've got em' too... i have a sweet spot in my left kidney for post- and regular old- apocalyptic tales.
    This is a brilliant piece of flash fiction.
    I'm chilled to think what goes on at the church after the baptisms...

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